Planning & Prep

How to Organize Spices: 4 Great Spice Rack Ideas + Tips



Last Updated: Jan 27, 2022

Spices are a handy item to have in your kitchen, adding flavor, aroma, and depth to all your recipes. If you love experimenting with new recipes, this can result in racking up quite a large assortment of spices. One day, you might look in your pantry and realize you need to organize your growing spice collection.

Luckily, our guide can help you with creative ideas on how to organize those spices in your pantry. We’ll also cover how to store your spices if you’ve got a small kitchen or you are living in a small space like a camper van or tiny house. 

How to organize your spices

Most of us end up storing spices on a shelf in our pantry, in a cabinet, or in a drawer. If you have a large collection of spices, your spice cabinet or drawer can get cluttered and messy quickly. 

You may already have a loose system as to how you organize your spice cabinet or cupboard, or it could be complete jar mayhem in there! Either way, here are some creative and helpful ways to organize your spices.

1. Organize your spices by groups before you store them

It’s helpful to first decide how you are going to categorize your spices before your start to organize them for storage. Start by combining any duplicate spices and throwing out any that are past their use-by date or don’t have any scent, which indicates they’re no longer useful.

Woman in the kitchen with can of dry mint, food storage, pantry.

You can sort your spices alphabetically, or you can arrange them by groups according to how you use them in cooking. Here are some ideas:

  • Everyday spices such as sea salt, black and white peppers, chicken salt, etc.
  • Baking spices such as ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, vanilla, etc. 
  • Cuisine blend spices such as Indian, Cajun, Mexican, Asian, Moroccan, Italian, etc. 
  • Mild spices such as star anise, pimento, paprika, garlic, cumin, turmeric, saffron, fennel, etc. 
  • Hot spices such as cayenne pepper, chili, mustard, Cajun, etc. 
  • Sweet, hot, pungent, tangy are the 4 main spice categories based on what they do to the food in the recipe

2. Organize spices neatly in a spice cabinet or cupboard

Storing your spices in a cupboard or spice cabinet seems the simplest solution, but you still need a basic system to keep things organized. 

Organized Pantry Items With Variety of Nonperishable Food Staples And Preserved Foods in Jars On Kitchen Shelf.
  • You can use simple trays in your cupboard to coordinate and organize your spice jars. Just stack them neatly to make finding the spices you need easy.
  • To maximize the space in your cupboard, you can use spice spinners or tiered shelve organizers to organize your spices and grab them easily. 
  • Wall-mounted, individual spice cabinets can be a nice touch to your kitchen decor. Spice cabinets are usually made of wood and have glass-fronted doors, so you can easily see and access your spices. 
  • Keep your spices in mini mason jars. This is a great option if you have more space to play with and want your spice organization to be visually appealing. 
  • For ease of use, store the most-used spices at the front and the occasionally used ones nearer the back. 

3. Organize your spices in a drawer organizer

Choosing a drawer to keep your spices in is a great option if you’re short on cupboard space—or if you’re just short on cupboards. 

  • Buy an adjustable divided drawer organizer, and you can organize all your spices in rows, alphabetically, or by cuisine group. 
  • For clever anti-rolling solutions, try rounded drawer inserts to stack your spices in. These are designed specifically to fit jars in drawers. 
  • Find a drawer organizer that enables you to store the spice jars on tilted racks or in tiers for efficient viewing and easy access.

4. Keep your spices organized in a rack

Kitchen utensils and spices in bowls in stainless steel kitchen

Purpose-built spice racks—if you have the space for one— are a perfect way to keep your spices organized and a quick way to visually identify what you need.

  • Spice racks can be kept on kitchen counters if you have space; just take care not to keep them too close to heat or water sources in your kitchen.
  • Spice racks can be mounted on the wall in your cooking area for quick access.
  • Magnetic spice racks are perfect for keeping your spices upright if they’re prone to get knocked over.
  • You can also get slide-out spice racks that you can place in an upper cabinet.

How to store spices in a small kitchen

If you live in a camper van, caravan, or a tiny house, you’ll have a much smaller kitchen space to work with. There are a variety of ways to maximize smaller amounts of cupboard space so you can have a manageable way to keep your spices organized.

Chef hand returning spice into a spice rack
  • Door-mounted spice racks are the simplest and quickest way to organize your spices in a small space. These racks can fit snugly on the inside of most cupboards or cabinet doors.
  • Rotating spice racks are compact enough to fit in a corner of the smallest countertop and can accommodate many jars of spices
  • Transfer your spices into round magnetic tins and stick them to magnetic strips underneath shelves or cabinets. Or attach the magnetic strips to the walls. (Just don’t stick them to the vent or directly on your stove, as heat will degrade spice quality).
  • Hidden shelves that are designed to pull out or down (for height-impaired people) are a great solution for storing and organizing spice jars.
  • A spinning tray or a lazy susan in a cupboard is not only space-saving but also makes finding the spices you need much easier.
  • Keeping your spices in windowed, stackable tin containers saves maximum space, keeps things tidy, and keeps things matching. Also, the windows make it easy to identify which spices are which if you’re not into labeling.

Spaces for spices

Whether you love having your kitchen super-organized and everything in its place or you prefer a more natural, colorful flow to your cooking space, there’ll be a way to organize your spices that works for you. 

To make the most of organizing your spices and creating an efficient system, stock up your pantry with all the spices you need. Shop a whole range of kitchen organization products on Instacart.



Instacart is the leading grocery technology company in North America, partnering with more than 1,400 national, regional, and local retail banners to deliver from more than 80,000 stores across more than 14,000 cities in North America. To read more Instacart posts, you can browse the company blog or search by keyword using the search bar at the top of the page.

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